An early Sunday morning head-on collision in the Kempsville area of Virginia Beach, VA, sent five people to hospitals with injuries that were described as ranging from serious to life-threatening. The nearly fatal crash happened in the 5200 block of Greenwich Road at around 2:45 am on September 10, 2017.
Police told news reporters that their preliminary investigation indicates that a northbound car carrying four people crossed the double yellow line on Greenwich Road while rounding a curve. Going left of center on the two-lane road set the stage for the head-on collision.
Both drivers became trapped in the wreckage, causing rescue crews to work for hours to cut them free. One of the people hurt in the wreck was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, but news reports do not include details on which vehicle that person was in.
Officers from the Virginia Beach Fatal Accident Crash Team believe both speeding and alcohol use by the driver of the car contributed to causing the head-on collision. This would bear out crash statistics for 2015 compiled by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. During that year, the DMV recorded 4,917 injuries in alcohol-related crashes. Out of all the wrecks in which one or both drivers were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, 242 involved going left of center and 617 involved speeding or going too fast for conditions.
Take out the impairment and speed that appear to have led to the head-on collision on Greenwich Road, and the driver of the car would still be negligent and at fault for crossing the double yellow line. Section 46.2-804(6) states, “Wherever a highway is marked with double traffic lines consisting of two immediately adjacent solid yellow lines, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of such line.” Violating that statute and causing a wreck makes a driver responsible for settling personal insurance claims.
Incidents like this one are a prime reason why my Virginia Beach personal injury law firm colleagues and I do what we do. We only sue drunk drivers. DUI drivers must be held financially accountable for the injuries and deaths they inflict by acting recklessly and showing such little concern for other people’s lives and health. While it looks like the innocent SUV driver and the car passengers will survive this drunk driving crash on Greenwich Road, the evidence available to the public indicates that it should never have happened at all.